Billboard’s Top Ten Rock Songs Of The Decade List Will Make You Quit Your Band

Billboard has revealed its top rock songs of the decade, causing folks to debate what even constitutes rock music in these genre-bending times — and forcing me, personally, to ask myself if it is the kids who are wrong.

In a nonchalant tweet, the US music-tracking mainstays revealed that three Imagine Dragons songs, Believer, Thunder, and Radioactive, each scored podium finishes.

Boosted by immense mainstream radio success and streaming dominance — remember, Radioactive notched a record 87 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart —  the Las Vegas band edged out Panic! At The Disco‘s politically-adjacent anthem High Hopes at #4, followed by The Lumineers‘ stamp-and-clap hit Ho Hey at #5.

Twenty One Pilots make the first of three appearances in the top ten with Heathens at #6, while Walk The Moon‘s incessantly bright Shut Up And Dance, a song which I thought was a joke the first time I heard it, lands at #7.

Grammy Award-winning Didi ad soundtrack Feel It Still lands at #8, courtesy of Portugal. The Man, while Twenty One Pilots close out the list with Ride at #9 and Stressed Out at #10.

The list has attracted exactly the kind of sentiment you’d expect, with fans of nominally guitar-based music questioning Billboard’s assessment criteria.

All of this drama comes months after Billboard inadvertently catapulted the career of rapper Lil Nas X after refusing to list crossover hit Old Town Road on its country chart. Of course, that tune went on to dominate the Billboard Hot 100 chart, sparking new discussions about what genre even means to listeners who will readily accept trap beats under a Nine Inch Nails banjo lick.

While borrowing ideas and sounds from multiple sources is essential to push music forward, this list does suggests is that rock has died a pretty brutal death in terms of mainstream popularity. I’d argue that could be a good thing, and artistic viability shouldn’t determined by how neatly a tune can fit in YouTube pre-roll ad.

Either way, we can all agree that Lorde‘s incredible debut Pure Heroine, which Billboard hails as the seventh-most successful rock album of the decade, is definitely not that. Are you fucking serious?